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Daily Archives: September 24, 2012



* Tim Worstall: Why I think NYT is going to go bust (forbes.com)

More links:
* Hillary Clinton aide tells a BuzzFeed reporter to “fuck off.” (buzzfeed.com) | (NPR.org)
* Parody memo has NYT approving publication of the F word used in the link above. (mcsweeneys.net)
* “The era of journalism professors having all the answers is over.” (niemanlab.org)
* Chicago Sun-Times loses Pulitzer-winning reporter Mark Konkel to DNAInfo.com Chicago. (timeoutchicago.com)
* Why Village Voice Media’s last-ditch effort to save itself will probably fail. (gawker.com)
* Print sex ads will remain in the newly formed Voice Media Group. (observer.com)
* New York Observer ropes old talent (and new) into its bullpen. (capitalnewyork.com)
* Willie Geist to co-host third hour of “Today.” (nytimes.com)
* The Atlantic seeks writers “willing to approach tasks with velocity and a high metabolism.” (journalismjobs.com)
* CNN editor defends reporting based on slain ambassador’s journal. (nytimes.com)
* Philip Anschutz, billionaire owner of The Oklahoman, wants readers to know what he thinks about President Obama. (newsok.com)

I’ve heard from two McClatchy journalists about Kevin McClatchy coming out in Frank Bruni’s Sunday column.

One writes:

Am I the only one who thought it odd that Kevin McClatchy, chairman of a vast news empire stretching from Miami to Alaska, told his story to The New York Times? Frank Bruni is a great reporter who has written movingly of his own experiences. But still … it would be as though Arthur Sulzberger chose to break family news through Bloomberg. I can’t imagine that happening.

The second journalist writes:

I have to say I found it stunning that he would bypass his own papers, even if he established a rapport with the NYT’s writer. What message does that sends to the employees – that even he thinks McClatchy is second tier or maybe third tier? and how can a manager ever again ask a reporter how they got beat by the Times?

Actually, McClatchy did come out to a McClatchy paper, too. He did a phone interview on Saturday with the Sacramento Bee’s Marcos Breton, who wrote a Sunday piece that acknowledges the McClatchy paper didn’t get the scoop. “The interview in the Times on Sunday, Sept. 23, is the 49-year-old McClatchy’s first public acknowledgement of his sexual orientation,” notes Breton.

I’ve asked McCarthy for comment.

UPDATE: Romenesko reader Ed Murrieta points out that McClatchy’s late father was gay — and that it’s noted on the McClatchy-owned Miami Herald’s Gay South Florida blog.

Steve Rothaus writes:

[Kevin’s] father, C.K. McClatchy, ran the company from 1979 until his sudden death from a heart attack while jogging on April 16, 1989.

Shortly after C.K. McClatchy died at age 62, another Sacramento newspaper reported he carried the AIDS virus.

The Chicago Tribune then reported that the elder McClatchy was gay and, according to a local gay newspaper, survived by a male “friend” and several close relatives, including Kevin.

Kevin McClatchy on Monday declined to speak about his father’s private life.

“I don’t think it’s right for me to talk about his story. He passed away when I was 25 years old.”

* Pirates owner Kevin McClatchy hopes young gay ballplayers can come out, too (miamiherald.com)

Letter to Romenesko

From BILL READER, journalism professor, Ohio University: The Atlantic’s article [on the Amish and agribusiness] is not just wrong with regard to the local facts in St. Lawrence County. It also exhibits the stereotypically blasé rhetoric, silly stereotypes, and hapless ignorance about the realities of farming that we see all too often when big-city journalists try to write about something they know very little about.

If you are a journalist writing about a farm-related issue and can’t answer any of these five questions, you should probably hand off the story to a colleague who does:

– What is the difference between hay and straw?

— What is the difference between “till” and “no-till” farming?

— Why is a “steer” different from a “heifer,” and why are both different from a “cow”?

— What is the meaning of “farrow to finish”?

— What is the PTO on a tractor used for?

As fewer and fewer people have direct, first-person experiences with farmers and farms, the more likely it will be that, A, journalists will report factual errors and then stubbornly defend them and, B, those errors will further erode the public’s understanding about the sources of their food and fiber. In The Atlantic story, some additional errors included referring to “baling hay” as a “daily chore” (baling hay happens infrequently, perhaps just two or three times each summer) and over-emphasizing the importance of the spring-planted wheat crop (about three-forths of the total wheat crop in the U.S. is planted in the fall for overwintering and early-summer harvest; the writer almost certainly saw “spring wheat,” meaning “this year’s wheat fields” were, for the most part, already harvested months earlier — and New York is not a major producer of either kind of wheat.

How the Atlantic got it all wrong in St. Lawrence County (watertowndailytimes.com)


* Conservatives want to “let Ryan be Ryan” on campaign trail (nytimes.com)

Watertown Daily Times reporter Christopher Robbins: “If local experts say agribusiness is not driving the Amish out of St. Lawrence County and more Amish are arriving weekly, then only one question remains: How did the Atlantic, one of American’s best known and respected magazines, get St. Lawrence County so wrong?”

The Atlantic’s spokesperson: “The Atlantic stands behind this story. We regret that some factual errors immaterial to the article’s conclusions were published online.”

* How the Atlantic got it all wrong in St. Lawrence County (watertowndailytimes.com)
* For the Amish, big agribusiness is destroying a way of life (theatlantic.com)

From a Press+ press release: “39% of the more than 370 publishers using the Press+ metering system are now allowing readers to view fewer than 10 articles for free per month. Most had launched their initial paid models with higher meters, allowing more free articles. …Even with the lowered meters publishers have seen no downside in results; across the range of Press+ Affiliates there has been no decline in digital advertising revenues and publishers have retained their voice in their communities.”

Read the release after the jump. Read More

Michael Lacey, 64, and Jim Larkin, 63, are selling Village Voice Media’s 13 alt-weeklies to a group of Voice employees for an undisclosed amount.

“It’s painful thinking about selling something you created with blood, sweat and tears, but it’s much less painful to sell it to your peers,” Lacey tells the Arizona Republic.

Lacey and Larkin will keep Backpage.com, the lucrative and controversial adult-ads site.

The Atlantic Wire’s Dashiell Bennett notes:

There have been numerous allegations that Backpage ads have been used by pimps to sell underage prostitutes and sex trafficking victims. The adult ads has been extremely lucrative — over $3 million a month according to Reuters — but their controversial nature has been an unwelcome “distraction” that threatened the existence of the newspapers themselves.

Scott Tobias, who is CEO of the new Denver-based company, Voice Media Group, had been Village Voice Media Holdings’ chief operating officer. Christine Brennan, longtime Voice Media executive managing editor, becomes executive editor.

* Village Voice Media owners sell their papers, keep Backpage.com (azcentral.com) | (wsj.com) | (forbes.com) | (theatlanticwire.com) | (press release via Westword)

More Monday links:
* Patch redesign turns it into a more social, user-driven service. (streetfightmag.com) | (paidcontent.org)
* Atlantic owner: “It’s become very, very clear to me that digital trumps print.” (nytimes.com)
* Reaction on Twitter to NYT’s new quote approval policy. (storify.com)
* Washingtonian mag keeps the Brauchli-on-the-way-out rumor alive. (washingtonian.com)
* Fortune changes its iPad strategy with a new “freemium” edition. (adage.com)
* Google News turns 10, now “algorithmically harvests” articles from more than 50,000 news sources. (theatlantic.com)
* Facebook shares are only worth $15, according to Barron’s. (barrons.com)
* A very public breakup for a Politico couple. (mediabistro.com)
* Poynter’s Tampa Bay Times “has some serious egg on its face.” (saintpetersblog.com)